How Get Apps from Google's Play Store (Android Market)
One of the greatest things about the new smart phones and tablets is the vast amount of applications, or apps, that are available, it's several hundred thousands. For Android devices you get those apps from the Google Play Store (it used to be called the Android Market). Important: You must have a Google Account in order to access the Play Store. This account is usually the same as your Gmail userid & password, as was discussed in the Setup chapter.
You will need the account for both Free and Fee-based apps. In addition, for Fee-based apps you will need a Google Wallet account too. You can access the Play Store directly from your Android Device. You can also log on to the web-based Play Store, which we'll describe at the end of this chapter.
Before we go into the details please note that all apps are not compatible with all combinations of devices and/or Android versions. In the web-based Play Store there is a list below the price that shows which, if any, of your devices a particular app is compatible with.
List Installed AppsLet's start by going into the Play Store from your Android device. Start by tapping the Play Store icon either on one of your home-screens or in the App Drawer:
Then you'll be presented in Step 1 below with the Play Store. There you will see a number of choices, for example "Staff picks", "Editors Choice", "Games" and other recommendations. But we'll start by looking at the menu, you press the Menu button on your phone (if it has one) or you tap the 3-dot symbol at the top-right corner, then select My Apps.
Play Store -> Menu -> My Apps
|1 Tap Menu dots||2 Select My Apps||3 List of Your Apps|
In the last step above you'll see all your apps listed. The first one is listed with Update, that means there is an update available for this apps, more about that later. You can scroll down the list to see all your apps. The ones needing an update are at the top.
Change Play Store Settings
The next choice on the menu is Accounts, which let's you pick one account in case you have multiple. But let's move on to the Settings part:
Play Store -> Menu -> Settings
|1 Tap Menu dots||2 Select Settings||3 Review Settings|
Let's review these settings:
|Notifications||Recommendation: enable this so you will know when app updates are available. The notifications will appear in the Notification Bar|
|Auto-Update apps||Recommendation: enable this so your device will automatically update all your installed apps, since many are updated frequently. Note: Even if this is enabled you will have to manually approve an update in case the permissions of an app (such as accessing various part of your device) are changed, for your own protection.|
|Update over WiFi Only||Recommendation: enable this if you have access to free WiFi sometimes, so you'll save on 3G/4G/LTE data connection fees.|
|Auto-add Widgets||If this is enabled each app you download will get a shortcut icon on a home-screen. Recommendation: disable this, since your home-screens can become very cluttered. All your installed apps will be available in the App Drawer so you can manually add the ones you want to your home-screens.|
Set a PIN code
Here is an important Setting: PIN code. You probably want to control downloads, which is quite important for example if you have children and you have enabled the Google Wallet. If you don't set a PIN your child can easily find fee-based apps and download, which you will be charged for.
Play Store -> Menu -> Settings -> Set or Change PIN -> Enter PIN -> Tick Use PIN
Go to the Play Store Settings as above, scroll down the list until you see USER CONTROLS:
|1 Tap Set PIN||2 Enter PIN code||3 Enable Use PIN|
Scroll down until you see the Set or Change PIN, then you need to enter a PIN code. Once you're back in the Settings menu then tick the Use PIN for purchases box.
Download an App
Now let's move on to the most exiting part: Get an app! Obviously you need to be connected to Internet, either by WiFi or 3G/4G/LTE. You start by tapping the Search icon (the magnifying glass), then in step 2 you use the onscreen keyboard to enter some search text (in this example: "stock market"). Then a number of choices will appear, you pick the one you like in step 3 (example: Google Finance).
|1 Tap Search Icon||2 Enter Search text||3 Select an App|
In step 4 you can read the description of the app, if you scroll down you can also review customer's comments and ratings for the app. If you decide you like it then tap the Download button. You will then get to Step 5, where the Permissions of the app are described. You should check these and ensure you don't see any strange permission that you wouldn't think this kind of app should require. If you are OK, then tap the Accept & Download button. Your app will then be downloaded and installed, it's very easy. An option will appear to ask if you want to open it. You can also go to the App Drawer at any stage and find it.
|4 Read Description||5 Accept Permissions|